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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Talks to move container terminal to UAE imminent – Business


ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday decided to hold formal talks with UAE’s Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) to expedite the transfer of container terminals from Karachi Port Trust (KPT).

This may be the first commercial transaction under the recently enacted Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions Act 2022 to rapidly divest public sector assets to a friendly country through direct negotiations without going through a cumbersome and lengthy process. privatization law.

KPT has taken over control of the container terminal (Berths 6 to 9 at the East Terminal) from Pakistan International Container Terminals (PICT), whose 21-year agreement expired on June 17, and signed a Short-term service contract companies will remain in operation until June 30 without paying any additional management fees.

Since the federal government authorized KPT to take over the terminal on June 12, PICT’s share price on the Pakistan Stock Exchange has plunged 31pc to about Rs 91 a share, with the locked price down from about Rs 132.

The Cabinet Committee on Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions (CCoIGCT) met for the second time in a week and formed an inter-ministerial committee “to negotiate a draft framework agreement between the governments of the UAE and Pakistan to further strengthen relations between the two countries” maritime sector,” said the official statement after the meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The committee headed by Law Secretary and Justice Raja Naeem Akbar will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Marine Affairs (MoMA) and senior representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was informed that ADP had expressed interest in operating the terminal.

A rather strange situation arose before the committee, showing that the KPT was unprepared for an event known for 21 years and could not handle the situation now.

KPT, after taking over the terminal last week, considered the request of the three parties to operate the container terminal during a transition period starting June 18, MoMA said at the committee meeting. They include PICT, Multimodal International (MTI) and first class commercial services.

“KPT believes that due to lack of time and resources and interface with customers/shipping lines, they are unable to operate the terminal, and the time frame of the tender has expired, these events have created unforeseen circumstances, imposing time limits that cannot be met. Public or other Procurement approach”, MoMA stated and went on to report that “therefore, (KPT) recommended that only PICT be able to provide management services in the given circumstances to keep the terminal operational”.

Posted on Dawn, June 20, 2023


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